Source: Leeson, M. A., Documents and Biography Pertaining to the Settlement and Progress of Stark County, 1887 pg. 363-64
Peyton Pate Johnson, son of James A. and Mildred (Pate) Johnson, was born in Fairfield township, Highland County, Ohio, September 17, 1816. The family settled in Bedford County, Va., at the close of the war of 1812, moved ultimately to Highland County, Ohio, where the father died April 19, 1845, and mother in October, 1860, both being interred in the family cemetery in Highland county, Ohio, where also rests the remains of grandparents on father's side of the family. Of his father's family - eight sons and two daughters - himself and one sister survive. Peyton may be said to have resided in Ohio until 1854, although in 1852 he purchased a half section of land in Goshen township, Stark County, Ill. In Ohio he learned the trade of blacksmith, under his brother, John H. Johnson, of Highland county, Ohio, and subsequently opened a shop for himself in Fayette county, whence he came to Illinois in 1854 with his wife, one son and three daughters. In that year he engaged in farming, and for over 28 years has been a prominent agriculturalist of Stark county. On August 7, 1845, he married Miss Jane, daughter of Peter and Elizabeth Brown. This family moved to Ross county, Ohio after the War of 1812, in which Peter Brown served. The children of this marriage numbered 9, of whom four sons and four daughters survived, namely Mrs. Elizabeth Dexter, of Galva, who is the mother of four sons and two daughters; Peter A., a farmer of Pawnee county, Neb.; Mary Ellen, wife of Joseph Walther, of Toulon; Agita Belle, wife of Wm. J Sellon, of Knox county, who are the parents of one son and two daughters; Lyman T., a farmer of Pawnee county, Neb., who married and is the parent of two daughters; Roswell M., of Skidmore Mo.; Lincoln, a student of literature, who was a school teacher in 1886, prior to entering Knox College; and Plessie C. The one child numbered among the dead was named Elva Louisa. The Johnsons were of a Quaker family, but since 1845 this branch have belonged to the Methodist church. For years he has been a model temperance worker by example and association, a member of the Old Settlers' Association, and prior to 1882, an official of the M. E. church. He served as Justice of Peace six years, county coroner six years, and as school director or trustee for a number of years. From 1861 to 1865 he was an active worker in the Union cause, and throughout his whole life here an exemplary citizen. His residence stands on a ten acre lot, just north of fair grounds. In itself it bears out the reputation liberally accorded to him and to this family.
Note: Biography of William S. Johnson is next to Peyton.
Obituary - Stark County News -
Wednesday February 3, 1904
Payton P. Johnson - Aged Resident of Toulon and Stark
County Died Wednesday January 27 - RESIDED HERE FOR 50 YEARS
Native of Ohio - Ardent Republican of Strong
Convictions - Funeral Held Saturday
Payton Pate Johnson was born in Leesburg, Highland
county, Ohio, September 17, 1816, and died at his home near Toulon, Wednesday
afternoon, January 27, 1904, aged 87 years, 4 months, and 20 days. The first
thirty-seven years of his life were spent in Ohio. For some years after he had
learned the blacksmith trade under his brother, John H., he worked at the same
in Fayette county, Ohio.
August 7, 1845, he was married to Miss. Jane Brown.
This happy union was blessed with nine children, eight of whom are living: Mrs.
Elizabeth M. Dexter, of Galva; Peter A., who remained at home with his father
and kindly ministered to his declining days; Mary Ellen Walther, of Kewanee;
Austa Bell Sellon, of Galva; Lyman T., of Stratton, Nebraska; Roswell M., of
Kolcome, Indiana; Dr. A. L., of Castleton; Mrs. G. D. Maxfield, formerly of
Kansas City, Mo., but who for the last few months has made her home with her
father. Elva Louisa died 46 years ago.
In 1852 Mr. Johnson bought a half section of land in
Goshen township, Stark county, Illinois, and two years later he came to this
state and settled near Saxon, where he resided for some twenty-eight years.
Twenty-two years ago he removed to the home place near Toulon, where he resided
until his death. Mr. Johnson was for six years a justice of the peace, also
county coroner for a like number of years. He was a loyal, patriotic citizen, an
ardent republican from the beginning of that organization, a man of strong
convictions and ever ready to defend them; upright in his dealings with his
fellow men, a man of good habits and strong temperance principles. He was a
member of the Old Settlers' association from its beginning and perhaps no one
enjoyed its annual reunions more than he. His name will be found among its
honored dead at its next reunion.
Mr. Johnson's parents were members of the Quaker
church. He always had great respect and love for the church of his parents, but
soon after marriage he united with the Methodist Episcopal church and continued
a member of the same until his death, covering a period of nearly sixty years.
For many years he held official positions in the church. When he came to
Illinois his membership was transferred to Toulon M. E. Church. He continued a
member of the same until the organization of the Methodist church at Saxon when
his membership was transferred to that church. Upon coming to Toulon he again
became a member of the Toulon M. E. church.
Mr. Johnson felt very keenly the death of his beloved
wife who departed this life for the immortal ten years ago last March. Thus was
a happy union of nearly fifty years severed. It was evident to the family and
friends of Mr. Johnson some months ago that he was not to stay with them very
much longer as week by week he grew more feeble, but death had no terrors for
him. He was the last of his
father's family to linger on the shores of time, while kindred and comrades were
becoming him home, and on Wednesday afternoon, after many hours of suffering, he
closed his eyes to all that is earthly to open them, we trust, to those things
that are heavenly and abiding. His last hours were hours of prayer and waiting
for the coming of the Lord.
The funeral service was held Saturday from the M. E. church and was in charge of Rev. John Wilkinson, who read the scripture lesson, prayer was offered by Rev. Hicks, and Rev. W. R. Wiley, now presiding elder of the Normal district, preached the sermon.